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bedtime blues

4 replies

miggy · 27/01/2003 21:52

Does anyone else find the hours between 7.30 and 11pm absolute hell. ds1 and ds2 are ok-ish, can be bribed with stars to earn pocket money ie one star to go to bed, one star to stay in bed and have some respect for me, especially when i shout. BUT dd(nearly 4) is hell on earth. Spent from 7.30-8.30 in her room read story then sat with her, after messing about I said fine thats it, you stay up here on your own now. Much screaming and bit of me shutting door on her followed. Have since opened door as screaming so much, keeping boys awake. She has spent last hour sitting at top of stairs calling me a "pooh pooh head". I dont know what to do with her, she doesnt respond to any form of bribery/stars, really would scream for hours if left to cry (as shown by the odd occasion dh is brave enough to take her to bed!). During the day she is the perfect child, just turns into beelzebub at bed time. Help????

OP posts:

Linzoid · 27/01/2003 22:39

Does she sleep at all during the day? Or get up late in thew mornings?


miggy · 28/01/2003 14:37

No, no sleep in day, unless falls asleep in car on way to school pick up, but I wake her up straight away so no more than 10mins. Up at 7.15 to get ready for school run-have to wake her though. last night gave in at 10.30 and let her lie in my bed and read while I had a bath, fell asleep at 11, clutching book! DS1 needs v little sleep, never usu asleep before 10.30 (but in bed by 8)up at 6.30 (before me!) and I think she is similar but hate 3yr olds up at 10pm-I need a break and cant be good for her.

OP posts:

breeze · 28/01/2003 17:49

My son 3, went through a stage of wanting to stay up, we put him to bed and he screamed for ages, i gave in the first few times, then realised i was making a rod for my own back, with him realising that if he kept screaming i would go up there eventually. I left him to scream 45 minutes on the first occasion, 35 the next until so on, and now we do not have any trouble, i think you have to be strong and leave her to cry no matter how long it takes, it does get easier and you will be rewarded with some peace and quiet, Good luck. I know its hard hearing your child scream but it is worth it in the end, she has to realise you are not going up there to her.


Jimjams · 28/01/2003 18:40

We have had this problem on and off with ds1 who is three and a half and autistic (which limits the bargaining we can do- very little language- certainly culdn't use stars). We had problems after ds2's birth when homeopathy worked a miracle and then more recently about 6 months ago. He always used to have a stairgate up when he went to bed and would play in his room until falling asleep. Suddenly he refused the stairgate and would scream and headbang the gate so we had to remove it. The he wouldn't stay in his room. We were up until 11pm every night trying to keep him in the room- it was absolutely horrendous(!) and he was getting exhausted.

In the end we did a couple of things. After his bath we let him come downstairs for half and hour to an hour. This meant that his bedtime went back from about 7pm to about 8pm. He would then go to bed. To keep him in bed I told him very firmly that "if he got out of bed I would shut his door, but if he stayed in bed he could have his door open". Every time he got out of bed I put him back and shut his door for a minute or so (he hates having the door shut). He understood and accepted that (eventually). Now we have no problems at all. He did go through a couple of weeks when he screamed for the light on after going to bed (I think he wanted to read), so we let him have a side light - but he's gone back to not wanting that now. I think you need to make a strategy that you think may work and then stick with it- hopefully once your dd sees that bedtime is non negotiable she will accept it and settle down.

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